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Archive for June, 2011

My Sweet Girl

It has taken me a while to understand why I’m having still grieving for Katya after over a year.  I finally realized she was with me with all of my losses, beginning with my grandmother in 1998.  Then my mom the year after, my other grandmother two years later.  Plus the other dogs:  Joey, who had been abused but adored me and Dylan whom I knew for only two months; then my dad and my dog Jessee a month later.

She was with me through the worst times of my life, from my mother’s death to my father’s.  I would not have survived without her.  She was always there.

Today I read an article in the May issue of O Magazine  written by a woman who had lost her mother at an early age (“Hope Springs Eternal” by Robin Romm).  She and her husband moved to New Mexico and had a disasterous experience with the house they were renting.  Then her job was in jeopardy because of the college’s mismanagement.  One day on a walk with her husband and dog, she found a strange-looking puppy.  She took it home and then was not able to give it to the animal shelter.  She said she was in love with her.

Unfortunately, her dog did not share her affection for the puppy, and she ended up giving it away to a loving family rather than risk a serious injury to her.  She then fell to pieces, crying all the time for a week.  Then she remembered being in a grief group where a woman said she she cried when she lost her dog but hadn’t cried when she lost her mother.

“The counselor explained that when someone close to us dies, the loss is often too large to comprehend.  But when a pet dies, we understand it.  We experience an animal’s death in smaller, more accessible ways.  We can absorb that grief, and in doing so we touch the shore of that larger island of loss inside us.”

The writer than allowed herself to grieve for the losses in her life and was able to forgive her dog and get back to a normal life.

I will be visiting my hometown and my parents’ graves for the first time in five years this summer (and yes, the guilt of not being there for five years was a part of the decision to go).  I’m hoping it will allow me to celebrate their memories instead of grieving them.

As for my sweet girl (from the Fleetwood Mac song I used to sing to her), thank you for getting me through those years, and as my vet said you will always dance in my heart.  See you at the Bridge.

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